Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Worst at the Free Throw Line

You never call Stacey Thomas to shoot your technicals.

Let's imagine that you're a coach. You're down by two, the ball is in your hands, and there's six seconds left on the clock. You have to carry the ball all the way downcourt to score.

You know the bad guys are going to foul someone. Therefore, you want the ball in someone's hands who can make those clutch free throws in case of a foul.

And yet, there are active players in the WNBA who have mastered the art of Shaq Fu when it comes to free throw shooting. How can you hit 60 percent (or less) of your free throws and still be in basketball? Well, like Shaq, you need to compensate with some other skill - an ability to rebound, or to avoid turning over the ball, or shooting very well.

If you see any of the players below at the free throw line shooting those criticial two shots, you had better grab your Maalox if you're a coach, and a rosary if you're a fan.

(Side note: The worst shooting percentage of all time could arguably be Lenae Williams's 0-for-5 lifetime free throw shooting for the Detroit Shock in 2002.)

Worst WNBA Free Throw Shooters

(minimum 150 attempts)

1. Stacey Thomas, 112-217, 51.6 percent
2. Armintie Price, 143-276, 51.8 percent
3. Val Whiting-Raymond, 95-176, 54.0 percent
4. Tamika Raymond, 229-422, 54.3 percent
5. Sharon Manning, 103-188, 54.8 percent
6. Nakia Sanford, 337-599, 56.3 percent
7. Vanessa Hayden, 129-220, 58.6 percent
8. Tracy Reid, 189-321, 58.9 percent
9. Tiffany Jackson, 91-152, 59.9 percent
10. Cheryl Ford, 501-835, 60.0 percent

- bold face denotes player active in 2008 season

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